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CAA will again be a national cosponsor of two arts and humanities advocacy events in Washington, D.C., this year.

Humanities Advocacy Day will take place February 24-25, 2003. Advocates from across the country will have the opportunity to promote federal support for the humanities. For information on how to get involved, please visit the National Humanities Alliance website.

Arts Advocacy Day will take place March 25-26, 2003. The event gives grassroots advocates the opportunity to shape federal arts policy. For information on how to get involved, please visit the Americans For the Arts website.

CAA encourages all of its members to communicate the value of the arts and humanities to the newly elected Congress by participating in both Humanities Advocacy Day and Arts Advocacy Day.

On October 23, 2002, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate poet, critic, and educator Dana Gioia as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Gioia is best known for his book about the role of poetry in contemporary culture, Can Poetry Matter? Essays on Poetry and American Culture (St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1992). He has taught as a visiting writer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Previously, he spent fifteen years as a business executive for General Foods. Once the nomination is made, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will review it. Once confirmed, the new chair will serve a four-year term.

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NEA and NEH Funding Still Delayed

posted by January 16, 2003

At press time, Congress had passed yet another Continuing Resolution (CR), once again postponing action on the annual appropriations, including those for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and virtually the entire federal government, except for the Pentagon. The recently passed CR gives the new Republican-controlled 108th Congress until January 11, 2003, to make changes and decisions about federal-agency appropriations for fiscal year 2003. As a result of this, most federal agencies will continue to operate at last year’s appropriation levels for what will be at least a quarter of the new fiscal year.

With the results of the November 2002 election now in, Senate Democrats will lose their committee chairs when the 108th Congress convenes. The House subcommittee that oversees the budget for NEA and NEH will also get a new chair as Representative Joe Skeen (R-NM) retired. When the new Congress begins to address the fiscal year 2003 budget, deep cuts to domestic programs are expected in an attempt to come closer to the President’s spending-level recommendations. Whether or not the 108th Congress will reduce the funding increases for the NEA and NEH that the House approved last July remains to be seen.